Avista buying back 4 million shares
Avista Corp. has announced plans to buy back up to 4 million shares of its common stock, timed to the consummation of its planned sale of Ecova Inc.
The buyback will start after the Ecova sale is complete or no later than July 7, the company announced Friday.
Ecova, an Avista subsidiary, manages facility energy costs for companies across North America. Avista announced it’s selling Ecova to Cofely USA Inc., an indirect subsidiary of French multinational utility GDF Suez.
The $335 million cash deal – after adjustments for debt and other closing costs – is expected to close by July 1 and result in a $62 million net gain.
GM issues recall order for 530,000 more cars
General Motors Co. recalled about 530,000 cars in the U.S. on Friday, including the past four years of Chevrolet Camaros, new Buick LaCrosse sedans, and older Chevrolet Sonics and Saab convertibles.
This latest round brings GM’s total for the year to 38 separate recalls in the U.S. involving 14.4 million vehicles, a record for the automaker. Including this latest round, the auto industry has recalled about 25 million vehicles this year, about one out of every 10 vehicles on the road in the U.S.
The Camaro recall covers 464,712 Camaros from the 2010-14 model years in the U.S. GM said a driver’s knee can bump the key fob and cause the key to unexpectedly shift from the “run” position, shutting off the important car functions such as power steering, air bags and the power brake assist.
But GM said the Camaro problem is unrelated to the ignition system used in Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars included in the ignition-switch recall earlier this year. Unlike the ignition in the older cars, the Camaro system meets all GM engineering specifications, the automaker said.
Priceline buying up OpenTable Inc.
NEW YORK – Priceline has negotiated a $2.6 billion entree into the restaurant business.
The global travel booking king announced Friday it is acquiring OpenTable Inc. in a deal that would put Priceline into a new business doing for restaurant reservations much what it does for hotel bookings.
The deal should give Priceline a new way to cater to its increasingly mobile-savvy customers, while parlaying Priceline’s global reach to expand OpenTable to other countries.
“Travelers are diners,” Priceline Group CEO and President Darren Huston said on a conference call. “It’s the same customers. There’s opportunity to cross-promote brands.”
Priceline will pay $103 per share, which is a 46 percent premium to OpenTable Inc.’s Thursday closing price of $70.43.